September Twenty-First

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As we officially approach Fall on the farm with the weather transitioning from warm to cool this week I am reminded that we are in a time of transition.  Back to school season, tomato sauce canning season, apple-picking and cider pressing season and craving-for-pumpkin-bars season.  The colorful harvest, these stunningly beautiful, misty, shadowy days serenaded by the sounds of crickets and dewy mornings remind me how much I love Fall.  The leaves are beginning to fall creating a glittering, festive, magical scene where every moment feels like it calls for celebration. 

We are also a homeschooling family as well as a farm family.  In this season where the transition from “summer days” to “back-to-school-days” never feels appropriate I am always a little bewildered.  It feels even a little absurd at times that in the middle of peak harvest season when the harvest is heaviest, the tomatoes need canning, the apples need pressing and saucing and the world is a living celestial landscape, I am left wondering who thought it would be a good idea to put these children into classrooms at the sweetest (and busiest) time of year?  Certainly they were not farmers. 

The back-to-school transition is always a chaotic turn of events for the community.  All the families feel it.  Everyone is a little less patient, a lot more busy, and there is a general feeling of intensity that can sensed if not seen in the eyes of parents, teachers and children alike.  The gift to this transitional time is the early evenings.  Lucky for us all it is dark by 7:30 and while everyone is exhausted by the end of a long day or a long week, we are sleeping longer and deeper.  Thank goodness for the returning darkness or maybe we would all spin ourselves into a dizzy. 

So like a good home-schooling, farming mama, I get the math books out in the mornings.  We do a little math and I keep looking at our writing books wondering when we’ll have time to start our writing projects.  The children do a lot of independent reading throughout the day and we read together every evening.  We also make time for piano and violin every day somehow.  I dream of our cozy winter days together at the kitchen table doing our spelling, math, and writing projects while making bread and drinking tea. 

Truthfully, sometimes I feel a slight lamentation for a time when the seasons governed the community.  Surely there was a time when the harvest took precedence over all else?  These were harder times, I know, but perhaps they embodied an even deeper connection to the earth, the seasons, the plants, the animals and to one another at large.  What if your connection to plants, animals and seasons and the time you spend with them makes you happier and you absorbed knowledge faster when it’s received in smaller doses? 

For a short while longer we will continue to bring in the harvest until the weather shifts.  Perhaps when the weather turns cool and the call to be indoors near a fire on a cold day feels good, writing a story will come easier.  The longing to be outdoors will be narrowed to a much smaller part of the day and the children will sit better for their school work then.  But for this week we will bring in the butternut squash and start thinking about digging sweet potatoes soon and school work will be at a minimum. 

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What’s in the Box?

Tomatoes-  7.5-8lb bags of tomatoes again!  Tomato harvest is still going strong!  We expect another week of big bags of tomatoes again and then hoping it will taper off a bit.  Tomato picking and bagging takes up a big part of the crew time each week!  We’re wondering if our CSA members are liking this many tomatoes or would like to receive less tomatoes?   

Spaghetti Squash-  These are the large yellow squash in your box.  We are giving the spaghetti squashes first because they do not keep well.  They develop little spots on them that eventually decay the fruits faster than any other winter squash variety we grow. 

Red Potatoes-  2lb bags of potatoes.  We decided to wash them this week so that bagging would go quicker.  We’re happy with this method and believe we will continue washing them! 

Cauliflower-  1 cauliflower per member.  These varied in size quite a bit.  Some were large and some were smaller. 

Eggplant-  1 eggplant per member.  You may have received two smaller eggplants of the Asian variety. 

Sweet Peppers-  1-4 peppers per member depending on how full the box was as it went down the line.  Most members received about 3.  Some boxes were so full we had to get creative on how to fit everything in this week! 

Cherry Tomatoes-  .7 lbs of cherry tomatoes this week.  We’re stoked to still be offering these gems this late into the season. 

Brussels Sprouts-  A very fun seasonal item!  We left them on the stalk for the novelty of it and because snapping them off the stalk takes tons of time.  Wrap your stalk in a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge that way or snap the sprouts off the stalk and store them in the fridge in a plastic bag that way instead to save room. 

Green Leaf Lettuce-  For your BLT’s!  We’re so happy to be offering lettuce this late in the season.  We should have another head for the boxes next week as well! 

Next Week's Best Guess:  tomatoes, acorn squash, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, brussels sprouts, lettuce, broccoli and/or cauliflower, potatoes, garlic

Recipes

Spaghetti Squash Fritters with Bacon and Chipotle Lime Mayo from Real Food with Dana

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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup from How to Feed a Loon

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Crustless Tomato Pie Recipe from Delish28

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Honey from The Cabin Diary

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